Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; 3 To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
When we live in the "Instead of", we realize the "better" plan of God. In the above scripture it is Jesus who is speaking and His promise that is offered to all is punctuated with "Instead Ofs." In our life situations we might succumb to the idea where we are to be brokenhearted in our life with no hope. But, Jesus says He binds up the brokenhearted and gives liberty to those who are captive. Captive to what? Captive to sin. Captive to hopeless lives of defeat. Captive to the whims of satan and the world. Jesus trumps that with His own Word and in power proclaims we are to live a much different life. A life that is empowered by the victory Jesus has over death, hell, and the grave. The same power that resurrected Jesus is the same power we access to live the abundant life. It is a life of victory "Instead of " defeat because defeat has never been, and never will be, the result when God is involved.
There is a lie that has been streaming far too long in the community of Christians about the power of God and that lie has been accepted by too many. Believe God's Word and not the lie of the wrong "Instead Of." We are given beauty for ashes, the oil of gladness for mourning, and the mantle of praise, "Instead Of" a spirit of fainting. Faint (def) - grow weak or feeble; decline. It is time for the church to embrace these truths and step forward in the power of God and we will see revival as never before. Oh that we would wake up and once again have a vision for the Lord's church that involves reaching the lost for Jesus. We have the Good News and it is news that needs to be proclaimed and heard!!
Let's try some other "Instead Ofs." Instead of closing down areas in church buildings because we are trying to save money on heating and air conditioning, let's build more and remodel them for better use. Instead of cutting back on church services and trying to make our lives easier, let's fill the worship centers with people we have invited to church so that they can hear the gospel. Instead of preaching messages of despair and hopelessness, let's preach the Bible and "all" the promises of God to show the hope we all know is real. Instead of making excuses for not going to church let's make reasons for serving in the church and get in on what God is "wanting" to do with His church!! I like those "Instead Ofs" and I pray for God to use me to do the same wherever I go. The time is now, Instead of tomorrow.
The Pilgrimage Continues....